Wednesday, July 10, 2013

‘Kids don’t need to carry guns’

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A suspect armed with an Airsoft BB gun bandit was caught robbing people at a Portland park. And police said he’s only 13-years-old.

The dad of one of the victims came to the rescue, and said his son made all the right moves.

“I don’t understand why kids are doing this,” he told KOIN 6 News. “I’m from a small town. Kids don’t need to carry guns.”

“My stomach was turning,” said dad Matthew Campbell. “For something to happen like that, I was just really worried about my son.”

It happened at Glenwood Park in southeast Portland. Glenwood Park is normally filled with kids and families. But what happened Monday evening shook a lot of people up, especially two 11-year-old boys.

“He was like, ‘Hey, give me the board,’” said Gavin Campbell, who had his skateboard stolen Monday. “And he puts the [airsoft] gun in my face like this … like that far away!”

Eleven-year-old Gavin and his friend Kyle Neal were just walking through the park when it happened.

“I wanted to do something [to fight back] so bad,” Gavin said, “but I knew I shouldn’t.”

Just a day before this July 9, 2013, image, a 13-year-old with an Airsoft pistol was reported to have robbed an 11-year-old boy of his skateboard near this spot in Glenwood Park in southeast Portland. (KOIN 6 News, Gary Kahne)

So, Gavin gave up the skateboard to a 13-year-old boy carrying an Airsoft pistol — and Kyle stepped away to call for help.

“I got out my phone, and I went to my contacts,” Kyle said. Gavin’s dad Matthew picked up.

He and Kyle’s dad Ken jumped in the car and were at the park in minutes, as Ken’s wife called 911.

The 13-year old was still in the park when they got there.

“I immediately jumped out of the truck,” Matthew said. “And I snatched the skateboard from him and I saw  a [airsoft] pistol sticking out of his pants, and so I snatched the [airsoft] pistol out of his pants, and I said, ‘Let’s go find your parents!”

The boy’s parents weren’t there, but by that time Portland police were. They took the 13-year-old to juvenile detention.

As it turned out, the teen had been reported to have threatened several other people in the park before he turned on Gavin and Kyle.

“I think it’s pretty messed up,” Kyle told KOIN 6 News.

Matthew Campbell talks to KOIN 6 News about driving down to this park after his son was robbed of his skateboard by a teen with a [airsoft] mock gun. (KOIN 6 News, Gary Kahne)

Gavin’s dad Matthew said he’s glad that Kyle had his phone, and that Gavin gave up the skateboard.

“I did the right thing I think,” Gavin says now.

But both dads said it’s a shame that a 13 year-old tried to terrorize a neighborhood park.

“I don’t understand why kids are doing this,” said Ken, Kyle’s dad. “I’m from a small town. Kids don’t need to carry guns.”

Both Kyle and Gavin said they recognized the 13-year-old from the neighborhood. He’s now at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home, charged with second-degree armed robbery.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Toy gun saves family from intruder

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A toy airsoft gun became just what a family needed to protect themselves from a would-be robber.

Monday night, Roland Stuart broke into a family's home and approached Jane Rainboth's room as she was sleeping. She then reached for the 9mm handgun that was placed by her bedside.

When the intruder caught sight of the threat at hand, he ran back outside the house for safety, where he would later be caught by Broward Sheriff's Office deputies.

The robber failed to notice the orange tip of the gun, giving away the fact that the 9mm was instead a toy gun.

The family's "attack dog" barked and gave Rainboth just enough notice to wake up and reach for the toy gun just as the robber was turning the corner to her room.

When Joshua Rainboth first spray-painted the gun, he never thought it would end up saving his mother's life. "It's funny because when I first did it they got mad at me," Rainboth said. "They told me I was going to get myself in trouble for spray-painting it black."

Due to the act of the crime, the judge decided to triple the fundamental bond to $75,000.


Monday, June 03, 2013

One teen dead, another in custody after an attempted robbery with an airsoft gun

An attempted robbery by two teens Saturday night in Fort Wayne, Indiana, left one teen dead, another in jail and both empty-handed. Their would-be victim was armed with a .40-caliber pistol and when his safety was threatened, he opened fire, shooting and killing one, while the other ran off, the Journal Gazette reports.

It was right at 11 o’clock Saturday night when the resident, who has not been identified, walked outside and down the steps in front of his apartment home. According to the statement released by Sgt. Mark Brooks of the Fort Wayne Police Department, the two teens then approached the resident and attempted to rob him. He responded by firing four shots, hitting one of the robbers in the chest. The resident immediately called 911. First responders attempted to revive the man who was shot, but he was pronounced dead on the scene.

Blake Stoneman, 21, lives in the same apartment house where the incident occurred. He said that he heard the gunshots, followed by screams, and ran outside to check on his girlfriend who had just left. His girlfriend was safely out of the area, but instead he found his neighbor who explained that he had just shot a man who tried to rob him.

According to Stoneman, "He said, ‘I need to go call 911; can you keep an eye on this guy’? and there’s just a guy laying there motionless." He added that his neighbor "wouldn’t hurt a fly unprovoked, so it was definitely in self-defense."

Stoneman, who has a two-year-old child, says that he is considering moving out of the apartment. "Just with the initial shock and paranoia, it seems right to move and it seems there’s not a lot of places you can go that are safe in Fort Wayne," he said.

And he’s not the only neighbor that feels that way either.

Tyler Junk and his fiancĂ©e, who both live in that same apartment house, moved out Sunday following the Saturday night incident. Although Junk admits, "I carry a gun myself, and if it was me, I’d have done the same thing," he says he still worries about having to face the same or a similar situation as his neighbor did on Saturday night.

Junk, who often likes to relax on the same front steps of the apartment where his neighbor was almost robbed, said that he talked with him after the incident and according to Junk, his neighbor said that before he shot the would-be robber, the two got into a scuffle. He said that the teen attacked him, beating him on the head and when he tried to yell for help, his attacker tried covered his mouth. It was then, with his one free hand that the resident reached for his firearm and shot him, although Brooks would neither confirm nor deny that account.

However, Brooks did confirm that a weapon was found near the body of the man that was shot, but a report released today confirmed that one of the robbers carried an airsoft-type handgun. Although police have not said whether this was the weapon that was originally mentioned or if there was another involved. It is unknown at this time whether the resident knew it was an airsoft gun.

Authorities also said that the resident suffered from a gunshot wound to the foot. He was treated at a local hospital and released and is said to be recovering and in good condition.

The county coroner’s office also released today the name of the man who was shot. He was identified as 18-year-old Jaquese N. Dandridge of Fort Wayne. His accomplice, a 16-year-old whose name has not been released, is also now in custody. Authorities said that during the investigation they came across information that helped to identify the second suspect, and police arrested him yesterday without incidence.

The shooting has been ruled a homicide, but appears to be justified as self-defense. "If someone tried to rob you on your front porch … you could be justified in using force to protect yourself, including deadly force," Brooks stated.

The investigation is ongoing as a cooperative effort of the police department, the prosecutor’s office and the coroner’s office.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Ammo shortages force CA cops to use Airsoft

The nationwide ammunition shortage isn’t just affecting civilians — it’s hitting law enforcement.

"Everybody is fighting for what is seems like a shrinking amount of ammunition out there," said Lt. Louie Tirona, firearms and tactics instructor for the Richmond Police Department.

With backorders on ammo stretching up to 12 months, law enforcement in the Northern, California, town have opted to train with Airsoft.

"We can do simple drills with Airsoft that would mimic what we would do with live fire," Tirona said. "They shoot small plastic [airsoft bb] pellets that still pack a punch."

According to sources, the [airsoft] guns used by the department look, feel and function almost like the real thing.

The neighboring town of Albany has followed suit. "It’s become harder and harder to get the ammunition we need to train our officers on a timely basis," said Albany Sgt. Dave Bettencourt. "We’re using Airsoft as an affordable option to try to maintain the officers’ skills."


Thursday, April 18, 2013

East Bay Police Train With Airsoft Guns Amid Ammo Shortage

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) — A nationwide shortage of ammunition has forced several police departments, including Richmond, to find a backup solution for training rounds. Officers said the solution is just as effective as live ammo, not to mention cheaper.

"Everybody is fighting for what is seems like a shrinking amount of ammunition out there," said Lt. Louie Tirona, firearms and tactics instructor for the Richmond Police Department.

Tirona came up with an idea: using professional-grade Airsoft guns for some of the training.

"If we get to a situation where we’re low on ammunition, we can do simple drills with Airsoft that would mimic what we would do with live fire," Tirona said.

The Airsoft guns used by the department look, feel, and function almost like the real thing. They shoot small plastic [airsoft bb] pellets that still pack a punch.

There is also another advantage, according to Tirona. "With Airsoft, its pennies compared to dollars with live ammunition," he said.

Tirona is also using laser firearms for scenario training.

Neighboring Albany is joining Richmond in using Airsoft guns for training.

"It’s become harder and harder to get the ammunition we need to train our officers on a timely basis," said Albany Sgt. Dave Bettencourt. "We’re using Airsoft as an affordable option to try to maintain the officers’ skills."

Sources told KPIX 5 that El Cerrito, Emeryville and Berkeley are looking for more training ammo, but still have enough for regular patrol duty.

Officials said with some backorders for ammo stretching up to 12 months, they are not sure when the shortage will end. Other local departments that are training with real ammunition told KPIX 5 they are being cautious not to use too much.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Target selection for NRA's new Airsoft 3-Gun competitions

Fairfax, Virginia - Sam and Andy begin a long trip today. Ten hours to be exact. Ten hours down I-85 from Fairfax, Virginia to Marietta, Georgia for the NRA's first official Airsoft 3-Gun event. Hosted by the good folks at the SAS Black Ops Range, the day is divided into two three hour segments; one at 2:00 and the other at 6:00. They'll be traveling with plenty of baggage too. Airsoft guns, Airsoft plans and Airsoft targets.

"We had a pretty good idea where we were going with the [airsoft] guns," said NRA Recreational Shooting Specialist Andy Lander. "It's the targets that provided the real challenge."

Airsoft targets are a challenge because you can't 'cheat' them in the same way you can with the .22 targets. Though not ideal, a range can use the same steel targets for a .22 event that they use in a regular event; you just have to play closer attention. With Airsoft you need something different.

According to Lander's counterpart, one Samantha Olsen, "There are Airsoft target opportunities out there. You just have to know where to look."

Where they're looking is a combination of targets from ShootmyAsh, Challenge Targets, and BAM Airsoft. is an electronic Airsoft targeting system. The name comes from the first prototypes. Initially made of Ash, the company changed to more of a hickory based platform following the infestation of the Emerald ash borer.

"When you hit the target, it registers the strike on a computer through a USB," explained Olsen. "It also provides an online leader board … kind of like Call of Duty. That means you can compete here in Fairfax against a guy shooting in Russia, Brazil or Japan.

"They also have a laser based border. There's a laser at the beginning, around the borders and at the end. It automatically starts when you cross the line, stops when you hit the finish, and penalizes you for going out of bounds."

Challenge Targets are your more conventional reaction targets. Simply put, you hit them and they move. Maybe they fall, maybe they swing, but one way or the other there is motion. That means the shooter knows they hit the target and can move on to the next one without losing any time.

"You knock 'em down and they get back up again," said Lander. "Just like the song says."

Finally there is BAM Airsoft.

BAM stands for Burt and Martin … the inventors of the product. And what they came up with is pretty interesting.

"BAM sells metal targets mounted on hard plastic tops. All you have to do is attach the tops to PVC pipes and you're good to go."

Here's the genius part; instead of selling you the PVC pipe, they sell you the design. You buy the PVC at your local hardware store.

"It cuts down on the shipping cost and allows you to customize the pipes to suite your needs."

Now we're not going to tell you which of these targets they'll be using this weekend at SOS Black Ops. For that, you'll just have to make it down to Georgia.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Teen mistakenly points Airsoft gun at officer

Posted on: 4:25 pm, March 22, 2013, by Barrett Tryon, updated on: 05:32pm, March 22, 2013

MERRIAM, Kan. — It’s a case of mistaken identity that could have ended a lot differently for a Merriam, Kan., teen.

Someone called 911 Friday morning and reported three men were wearing camouflage –and armed with rifles —  and jumped out of a car and began to run around a home.

When Merriam police showed up, officers were confronted by two people carrying rifles. That’s when one teen pointed the gun at an officer.

Thankfully, the officer noticed a small amount of orange paint on the barrel of the rifle and decided to tell the teen to “drop the gun.” He complied and was taken into custody.

However, when police picked up the rifle they quickly noticed it was an “Airsoft” gun — a non-lethal weapon that shoots [airsoft bb] pellets by compressed air.

The teens said they were practicing for an Airsoft game later in the day and thought the officers were another team.

No charges were filed, police said.


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Student Faces 1-Year Expulsion After Bringing Airsoft Gun To School

Posted on: 2:59 pm, March 7, 2013, by
bentonville millage
A Bentonville student faces the possibility of a one-year expulsion after bringing an airsoft gun to school earlier this week, according to the Bentonville School District.

The third-grade student brought an airsoft pellet gun to Thomas Jefferson Elementary on Monday. A teacher discovered the [airsoft] gun and notified administrators, said Mary Ley, a spokeswoman for the school district.

The student was automatically expelled from school for 10 days, after which an appeals hearing will be held to determine whether a student should face the state standard of a one-year expulsion for bringing a [airsoft] gun to school, Ley said.

The incident marks the third time in the last month a Bentonville student has brought a [airsoft] gun to school, Ley said. No one was injured in any of the incidents.

An eighth-grade student at Bentonville’s Washington Junior High School brought an air soft gun to the school with the purpose of selling it to another student in February, according to the school district. A few weeks earlier, a student brought a BB gun to Mary Jones Elementary School, Ley said.

The students involved in those two incidents had their recommended expulsions overturned by Superintendent Michael Poore following an appeals hearing, Ley said.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Airsoft: Not just for kids these days

Posted in Firearms and Ballistics on March 6, 2013 by Mike S.

As we all try to cope with the "Great Ammunition Crisis of 2013", will explore and share different methods to help our readers with regard to training. Today, we will take a realistic look at airsoft.

As a firearms instructor the most common question heard is "How do I improve my skills as a shooter?" The answer is often one word: “Practice". When ammunition supply was normal and prices were stable, this typically meant going to the range and sending lead downrange. Although most shooter look back on 50-round boxes of pistol ammunition for less than $10 as "the good old days", there were still plenty of shooters who found that to be expensive.

Instructors would commonly speak of the virtues of hand loading or training with 22 lr instead of the costlier center fire ammunition. Sadly, reloading components and rimfire ammunition are becoming as hard to find or almost as expensive as regular ammunition.

Last week we reviewed a great dry-firing training aid put out by Laser-Ammo, but dry firing is still only one piece of a complete training regimen.

The realities of airsoft

Being a dyed-in-the-wool shooter, I tended to look down on airsoft gear. This was mostly due to frustration when trying to find gun parts and seeing cheap knock-offs made overseas that looked too much like the real thing being sold as something they were not.

That all changed when I met the owner of an airsoft shop who was dedicated to putting real parts on his airsoft guns. While most airsoft guns at their essence are lightweight pieces of plastic that bear a superficial resemblance to real firearms, there are some that have the same weight and handling characteristics of their real counterparts.

The principles behind shooting an airsoft gun are the same as shooting a real firearm. The shooter must acquire and maintain sight alignment, obtain sight picture, breathe and follow-through. This can be accomplished by obtaining spring operated plastic guns at a discount store or by special ordering a custom piece that mirrors the shooter's sidearm in form and function.

As with regular shooting, airsoft shooting requires safety equipment. A good rule of thumb is to keep muzzle velocities under 450 feet per second for safety reasons as a fast pellet can break the skin. This time it is in the form of eye protection in case pellets should bounce back or if they are used as described in the next section.

Force-on-force training

Airsoft can be taken a step further and used in force on force training. This is being performed by tactical trainers in the military and law-enforcement realms throughout the world. However, this type of training is a bit more rigorous than plinking away in the garage with a $10 to $50 spring loaded handgun or carbine. A more rugged and robust airsoft arm is needed for this method with an entry-level price closer to a $200 for a [airsoft] handgun and $400 for a [airsoft] carbine or rifle that runs on compressed gas or is battery operated. Despite this initial investment, the long term cost of airsoft is low as [airsoft bb] pellets can be purchased in the thousands for less than a $20 bill.

Force on force training with airsoft can point out tactical errors such as exposing body parts when moving from cover or how difficult it can be to hit a moving target that is firing back at you.

While airsoft will never be a complete substitute for live firing, it does offer some advantages beyond the low cost and its use in force-on-force training. Most higher end airsoft guns have full-auto capability that may not have much of a tactical or practical use, but can be a fun way to spend a few hours on the weekend.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Charges dismissed against teen who took Airsoft pistol to school

By Robby Korth

Omaha World-Herald

A judge dismissed charges against a Bellevue East High School student Monday after prosecutors said he took an Airsoft pistol to school, causing a lockdown.

Daejawntae Goings, 16, of Bellevue had been charged with tampering with evidence, a felony, and making terroristic threats, a misdemeanor.

Assistant Sarpy County Prosecutor Stephanie Martinez said Goings made terroristic threats by brandishing the [airsoft] weapon at two girls. Prosecutors allege he then tampered with evidence after he told police he didn't know where the [airsoft] gun was but later admitted that he had “stashed” it where officers found it.

Goings' lawyer, Patrick Boylan, chief deputy public defender, said Goings never threatened anyone out loud, so he couldn't be charged with terroristic threats.

“He never threatened those two girls,” Boylan said. “How could my client be charged with terroristic threatening?”

Sarpy County Judge Robert Wester decided he couldn't, and dismissed both charges.
Prosecutors said they plan to refile charges.

According to police, Goings pulled the [airsoft] pistol out of his waistband and cocked it in front of the two girls on Feb. 6.

An Airsoft gun looks like a real pistol, but it fires non-lethal plastic [airsoft bb] pellets.

The [airsoft] gun didn't have the orange tip usually used to distinguish toy guns from real guns, and it had a red Heckler & Koch emblem on the butt of the pistol, Detective Francis Gallo said during the hearing.

The girls alerted school administrators, who called police about 2:15 p.m.

Goings first went into a bathroom and then to the high school's career center, where he told a teacher and six students that there was a school evacuation. The teacher told students to remain where they were and left to investigate. Goings was working alongside other students at a computer when police arrived, officers testified.

About 20 officers descended on Bellevue East in response to an alleged gunman.

“When I arrived, students seemed scared,” Police Officer Tim Janda said.

At first, the only gun that police could find was a green plastic squirt gun in Goings' backpack. Police found the Airsoft pistol hidden under a stack of papers in a recycling bin.

Goings said he had the [airsoft] gun because he feared for his safety, Janda said.

Sarpy County Prosecutor Lee Polikov said he still believes that brandishing a fake [airsoft] gun and causing a school lockdown is illegal. His office plans to again charge Goings. Options include filing only misdemeanor charges, filing in juvenile court or filing in district court.

“There are charges we think we can hold him accountable for,” Polikov said.

Boylan, the defense attorney, said after the hearing that Goings is relieved but knows the case probably isn't over.

“Until it's ultimately decided, he is going to concentrate on his schoolwork and his responsibilities at home,” Boylan said.